No self-respecting kitchen is complete without a food mixer these days, but with the housewares industry flooding the market with colorful, gadget-laden machines, how does the home baker choose one?
Food Mixer Basics
First, let’s take a look at what you want from these workhorses. Basically, unless you want to attack your cookery tasks by hand with wire whisks and wooden spoons, you must rely on a portable or stand mixer to take care of variations on three basic tasks: creaming, as in blending ingredients for pastries; whisking, to whip air into eggs for meringues or beat cream into a frothy topping; and kneading various leavened and unleavened dough’s.
If you occasionally whip a pint of cream during the summer for your berries, an inexpensive, portable mixer will do. Stick it in the cupboard when you don’t need it, and make sure you don’t lose track of the beaters.
But for any substantial project, such as whipping yams for a casserole during the holidays, kneading a batch of yeast rolls for Sunday dinner, or presenting that perfect birthday cake with inches of yummy frosting, you want a reliable, sturdy stand mixer to take the work out of meal prep and leave your hands free to direct your focus elsewhere, while the machine is taking care of business.
The Tower T12010 Die Cast Stand Mixer
The Tower T12010 enters the market with a strong reputation and name recognition. Tower has been producing quality appliances and selling them worldwide for decades, earning a name for reliability and quality at the low to mid-range price point. No second guessing your purchase with Tower; their quality control is first rate and customer service receives high marks from users.
Though it isn’t obvious from its model name and marketing materials, a major selling point of this model should be its planetary action. Which is, non-engineers might ask? The name gives a hint. Think of the planets revolving around the sun, each spinning on its axis while traveling in its own orbit. In the Tower, the whisk spins as it whips up a batch of egg whites. The Tower further propels the whisk (and other attachments) around the bowl as if in orbit. Hence, planetary action, a really big deal in the mixer universe.
The spinning action churns your ingredients, incorporating more air for lightness in those egg whites or cream, or smoothness if you’re preparing the batter for a cake. The rotating action doubles down on the mixing, providing more torque, power and less strain on the motor. If you’ve ever used a hand mixer and had to run it around the sides of the bowl to blend all the ingredients or stop to constantly scrape down the sides, you can appreciate the importance of a mixer with planetary action.
Auto Shut Off and Overload Protection
Have you ever found yourself in the middle of making the recipe for twelve dozen of your grandmother’s favorite jam tarts for a bake sale and accidentally rested your arm on the top of your mixer? Your lucky if you didn’t come away with a serious burn. But not with the Tower T2010 and its delicate sensors that will turn off the machine and cool down the motor before it overheats during production baking.
Stainless Steel Bowl with Two Large Handles
New rule: mixing bowls on stand mixers should come with handles. And, like the Tower’s, they must be wide enough to get a good grip as you divide the contents into smaller bowls and pans. With small handles you’ll find the bowl swinging into outer space as you’re trying to scrape the sides. Bowls without handles are hard to maneuver when emptying batters into cake pans. Worst case, the handle-less bowls will slip out of your grasp altogether. The 4.5L stainless steel bowl of the Tower stand mixer offers two generous handles for easy maneuverability, plus it locks into place easily and stays put during operation.
All splash guards are not created equal. You don’t just want a cover for the bowl so the contents don’t spray all over you and the counter. The Tower T2012’s transparent guard easily attaches and detaches during operation and has a wide enough mouth to easily allow you to add ingredients while the machine is running.
Power, Speeds and Access
You need a mixer to do more than turn off and on, or work at slow, medium and fast speeds. The Tower offers 8 speeds plus a pulse feature to give you maximum control, whether you need gentle folding for adding flour to cake batter, pulsing for perfect whipped cream, or high speed whisking. The 1200 watt motor provides all the power you need and the tilting head makes it easy to remove the attachments and bowls, as well as give you easy access to your mixture.
Ease of Use
No fiddling with attachments that fall off or switches that don’t work. Consumers report ease of use as one of their main reasons for sticking with the Tower T12010 Die Cast Stand Mixer.
Weight: 7.4 Kg.
Dimensions: 44.2 x 40.4 x 27 cm
Die Cast Construction
- Planetary Action
- Tilt head for easy access
- Splash guard with wide mouth for easy adding of ingredients
- Extremely generous 3 year guarantee
- Ease of use
- No option to add accessories
Two machines bear mentioning, the Kenwood Premier Chef KMC570, has just 1000 watts and smaller bowl. Otherwise, an excellent machine say satisfied customers, with extra optional accessories such as a blender, but at a considerably higher price point.
The Morphy Richards 400011 stand mixer is much easier on the bank account, but reviewers complain of its flimsy construction and issues with ease of use.
The Tower T12010 Die Cast Food Mixer offers everything the home chef needs for professional quality baking. Also, the price point, sturdy, die cast construction, and 3 year guarantee all make it one of the more appealing stand mixers on the market.